Using Google Maps Offline

Getting ready for that road trip of a lifetime? Follow these steps to that you can navigate ‘off-the-grid’.

Google Maps is a very powerful application used my millions of us every day. It is by far the most advanced mapping/navigation services available on the market, but not without its falls. Google Maps works well with a strong data connection, many have complained as they data connection is not always available. Fortunately, Google Maps can be used offline, but there are a couple steps in before you can take full advantage.

Offline Access

For Google Maps to work offline you need to first download the area in which you will be travelling around. The map area must be downloaded before leaving the data/Wi-Fi connection we all live by. Thankfully, your area able to download huge areas; like caching LA in one go. Another downside is that if you want to download huge cities maps, you need the storage space. Google allows you to manage your storage and allow you to place it on your SD card too. Downloading cities can take up to 15GB depending in the size of the city.

To manage your downloads on your SD card, go to Menu > Offline Areas > Settings > Storage Preferences and switch “Device” to “SD card”. Once your maps are downloaded you can navigate and find directions as you would when online. Just remember not every feature will be there, as we mentioned before.

Also, important to note that the maps expire after 30days. This is due to maps being updated and changes in the world. Google wants you to have the most up to date maps when offline. But this can be tackled so you don’t have to keep downloading the same map each month. Go into Offline Map settings and toggle ‘automatic updates’ which will ensure you downloaded map stays updated.


How to store offline maps

  1. Without further ado, let’s show you how the magic happens.
  2. Open the Google Maps application.
  3. Find the area or location you want to download.
  4. If you have searched for a specific place, a bar with the name should appear at the bottom. If not, just press and hold somewhere on the map to make the section show up. Tap on it to display more options.
  5. Hit “Download”.
  6. You can now pinch-to-zoom in and out, making the download area larger or smaller.
  7. After making your selection hit the “Download” button in the lower-right corner.



Taking a quick trip offline, but don’t need the entire area saved? Navigation also works offline just by simply setting up your route when you have a connection. Maps will automatically download the info you need to get to your destination. This is completely independent of your manually downloaded map areas, as discussed today. Once your route is configured, Maps will hold the data at least until you arrive at your goal, or until Maps is turned off on your device.



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Sachin Mistry
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Sachin Mistry

Sachin is an Editor at Bane Tech, where he loves exploring the latest in the Android/Google universe. When he's not buried in words, Sachin is a student at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK studying his first passion which is training to become a culinary arts Chef.